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Our Guide to… The Best Christmas Cocktails

Monday 1st December 2014

There is one thing that never disappoints each Christmas season and that is the festive cocktail concoctions that make their way onto every drinks menu in the city. Forget the festive cups at Costa and Starbucks, here at The Handbook, it is the slightly more alcoholic delights that have caught our fancy, and to help you distinguish the candy canes from the chestnuts, we have rounded up a list of our favourite Christmas cocktails. We now pronounce the festive drinking season open! Enjoy!

The Dorchester

Since visiting the Gingerbread Museum in Prague, we are just a little bit obsessed with the stuff. And what Christmas is complete without a ginger snap or two… If you yearn for some of the good stuff, then head to The Dorchester where you will be treated to the Gingerbread Man cocktail in lieu of the festive season consisting of Janneau VSOP, pain d’epices liquer, nutmeg and fresh ginger. It comes accompanied with a gingerbread man and can be served hot or cold…great for when the gingerbread house does not go to plan.www.dorchestercollection.com

Rabbit

Not surprisingly, Rabbit have stuck to their roots with some meaty cocktails on display allowing for some interesting concoctions. We cannot wait to try their Yuletide cocktails with The Bullshot looking particularly alluring. Combining beef consommé with a shot of whiskey, this is certainly one that we leave you talking until New Year. Or if you figure yourself a countryside James Bond, make sure to sample the Christmas Martini, made with Sipsmith Vodka and a sprinkling of Christmas spices. www.rabbit-restaurants.com

The Providores

To add some festive cheer to your standard hot chocolate then make sure to head to The Providores in Marylebone who will be serving up a Spiced Hot Chocolate with ginger liquer, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. After one or two of these, things may snowball out of control but it Christmas so who cares. Speaking of Snowballs, the restaurant will also be serving this up, think of it as Christmas in a cup with a mixture of Kahlua, Frangelico, Amareto and Bailey’s with nutmeg and cinnamon and a dollop of cream. www.theprovidores.co.uk

Mr Fogg’s

Mr Fogg’s has taken heed to the saying ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’, heading down a more traditional route by offering Warm Cider and Mulled Wine. And why not, there is nothing wrong with the Christmas classics and we shall certainly be heading straight here when we are in need in a mulled wine fix!  Vamp it up by trying the Die Tannenbaum; a Christmassy mix of clove and orange infused Pampero Especial rum, mixed with apple brandy and cinnamon liquer. Cinnamon apples – yum! www.mr-foggs.com

Bunga Bunga

Have an Italian Christmas thanks to Bunga Bunga who will be serving up hot aperitivo and digestivo cocktails such as the ‘Inverno a Napoli’- Italy’s fiery take on traditional mulled wine. They have also nodded to ballet with an aptly named cocktail The Nutcracker, featuring Gosling Demerara rum and Frangelico hazelnut liquer, shaken with egg white and vanilla bitters, served short with a Savoiardo biscuit for soaking. www.bungabunga-london.com

Trader Vic’s

Christmas is a time for celebration and you might not know this but Trader Vic’s is where the world famous Mai Tai cocktail was created – what better reason than that for a cheeky celebratory drink in their honour? www.tradervicslondon.com

Bart’s

Get away from the hustle and bustle by heading to Bart’s hidden basement in Chelsea where you will be able to sample the ‘Winter Reserve’ a cocktail which contains Woodford Reserve bourbon, infused with dried beef, basil and stirred with Angostura bitters and spices. It comes served in a teapot, meaning this is definitely your go to place for rest and relaxation. www.barts-london.com

Salvatore’s Bar, The Playboy Club

Once again, Salvatore Calabrese, nicknamed ‘The Maestro’ has come up with some cheeky Christmas cocktails in a new festive menu that is definitely worth sampling. Like the names of the cocktails themselves, the drinks are the perfect combination of naughty and nice, which is all you can ask for from Christmas. You will see temperatures rising with The Smoky Chimney, which sees Jamaican Rum, Orgeat Syrup, Fernet Branca Bitter and Lapsang Souchoung Tea served hot in a teapot. Ooh ahh. www.playboyclublondon.com

Archer Street

Archer Street’s basement bar has been converted into Piste, your favourite ski-time lodge a la London with a festive cocktail menu to match. We have already sampled The King of the Alps a concoction of Tanqueray gin, blended with King ginger liquor, fresh lime, apple juice a pear mixed with cinnamon and maple syrup. We would recommend trying two and with singing waiters in lieu this is as close to Frozen as you are going to get. www.archerstreet.co.uk

Arch London

With winter truly here (devastating isn’t it?) we were delighted to hear about the hot cocktails being served up at The Arch. One to try is the ‘Joie de Vivre’ a warming concoction of Flamed Drambuie liqueur, fresh winter berries and heated apple juice. This new cocktail is sure to have you asking, mulled wine who? www.thearchlondon.com

Late Night London

And for those of you that are trying to stay healthy this Christmas season, try the Rockin’ Robbin, a cocktail offering all the superfood and antioxidant ingredients needed for a fun and healthy night out. Blending Absolut Berri Acai with redcurrant jam syrup, crème de mure, cranberry juice and lime juice, you will feel energised to face all of those Christmas parties. Oh and the fact it is available across all of Late Night London’s venues, you have yourself a festive, fitness cocktail trail. We salute you! www.latenightlondon.co.uk

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